Left and Right Handedness in Sport
My topic is handedness, whether in different sports, it is better to be left or right-sided or whether a more balanced approach is more successful.
I’m left-handed myself, and I actually didn’t see any relevance to my own life. When I happened to start reading an article by a sports psychologist called Peter Matthews, he spent the first part of the article talking about handedness in music instead of sport, which I have to say, almost put me off from reading further.
Q31 But what I soon became struck by was the sheer volume of both observation and investigation he had done in many different sports, and I felt persuaded that what he had to say would be of really interest.
Q32 I think Matthew’s findings will be beneficial not so much in helping sports people to work on their weaker side, but more that they can help them identify the most suitable strategies to use in a given game.
Although Q33 most trainers know how important handedness is at present, they are rather reluctant to make use of the insight scientists like Matthew’s congee give, which I think is rather shortsighted because focusing on individual flexibility is only part of the story. Anyway. Back to the article, Matthews found a German study, which looked at what he called mixed handedness that is, the capacity to use both left and right hands. Equally. It looked at mixed-handedness in 40 musicians on a variety of instruments.
Researchers examined a number of variables, for example, type of instrument played regularity of practice undertaken, and length of time playing instrument, and found the following. Keyboard players had high levels of mixed-handedness, whereas string players like cellists and violinists strongly favored one hand. Also, Q34 those who started younger were more mixed-handed. Matthews also reports studies of handedness in apes. Apes get a large proportion of their food by fishing ants from anthills.
Q35 The studies show that apes like humans, show handedness, though for them right and left-handedness is about equal, whereas about 85% of humans are right-handed studies showed the apes consistently using the same hand, fished out 30% more ants than those varying between the two.
Matthew started researching several different sports and found different types of handedness in each. By the way, he uses handedness to refer to the dominant side for feet and eyes as well as hands. Anyway, His team measured the hand, feet, and eyes of 2000 and 611 players and found that there were really three main types of lateral quality mixed. You work equally well on both sides. Both hands and I single. You tend to favour one side, but both hands and I favor the same side and cross-lateral quality. A player’s hands and eyes favor only one side, but they are opposite sides.
Let’s start with hockey. Matthews found that it was best to be mixed-handed. This is because ah, hockey stick must be deployed in Q36 two directions. It would be a drawback to have hand or eye favoring one side. An interesting finding is that mixed-handed hockey players were significantly more Q37 confident than their single-handed counterparts. Things air slightly different in racket sports like tennis here. The important thing is to have the dominant hand and eye. On the one side, this means that there is a bigger area of Q38 vision on the side, where most of the action occurs.
If a player is cross-lateral, the racket is invisible from the dominant eye. For much of the swing, it means that they can only make Q39 corrections much later. And often the damage has been done by then and moving to a rather different type of sport, which involves large but precise movements. Gymnastics. It’s been found that cross-hand I favoring is best.
The predominant reason for this is because it aids Q40 balance, which is, of course, absolutely central to performance in this sport.